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January 2024

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Night Swim

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Universal Pictures // Directed by Bryce McGuire // Starring Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle, Gavin Warren, Jodi Long

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January has rolled back around again and here we are with another horror film to start the year. Following on from the likes of M3GAN and Scream, Blumhouse delivers us Night Swim, a story about a haunted swimming pool of all things. Now, January is usually seen as a dead month, traditionally at least, so does Night Swim deliver anything to deviate from this idea? No, absolutely not. If I had to describe the most disappointing way to open a new year for film and cinema, it would be simply titled Night Swim. Firstly, the title is wholly misleading as the film takes place during the day for most of the film (which is mercifully only 90 minutes long). Secondly, the film is simply just boring, which is a no-no for any horror film. The initial idea is lost in a jumbled mess of concepts that never quite come together and the performances are lacklustre, except for Kerry Condon who at least tries to deliver a decent performance. As a horror film, Night Swim fails to deliver any tension, atmosphere, or scares which is the most disappointing aspect of all. I'm not sure how to make a swimming pool scary - we're not exactly dealing with the ocean here - but as that was the focus of the film, it is hard to not be massively disappointed that the film provided nothing other than a contrived ghost story intertwined with a mediocre family drama. The pacing and look of the film are also subpar and the less said about the god-awful script, the better. It is never pleasant to criticize a film, but it is difficult to find anything positive to say about Night Swim, except for its runtime. Hopefully, the rest of the horror films in the coming year will be a vast improvement over this disappointment.

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